DIGI405-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021

Texts, Discourses and Data: the Humanities and Data Science

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 22 February 2021
End Date: Sunday, 27 June 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 7 March 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 14 May 2021


This course examines computer-aided methods used in digital humanities and the social sciences for analysing discourses, an object of study that draws together multiple ways that language reflects and shapes social meanings. Within this context, it introduces concepts and methods for analysing natural language data and applies these through a series of practical lab classes. The first part of the course focuses on classic discourse analysis methods drawn from corpus linguistics, as well as the essential preprocessing steps used to prepare texts for a range of analytical purposes. In the second part of the course we study topic modeling, a technique for unsupervised, exploratory data analysis that has been widely used in digital humanities, and, finally, consider supervised text classification methods to identify discursive attributes such as sentiment, genre, or style.

Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of the course, students will be able to:
  • Apply exploratory data analysis methods relevant to the humanities to a corpus of texts
  • Preprocess text data in a range of ways and provide appropriate justification for these in their analyses
  • Explain the social and cultural contexts of data analysis and interpretation practices and their implications
  • Identify ethical and political dimensions to discourse analysis and text mining methods.


Subject to approval of the Programme Coordinator.

Timetable 2021

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 16:00 - 17:00 Eng Core 222 & 223 Drawing Office
22 Feb - 4 Apr
26 Apr - 6 Jun
02 Wednesday 17:00 - 18:00 Zoom [002] 22 Feb - 4 Apr
26 Apr - 6 Jun
Computer Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
02 Thursday 13:00 - 15:00 Ernest Rutherford 212 Computer Lab
22 Feb - 4 Apr
26 Apr - 6 Jun
03 Friday 10:00 - 12:00 Rehua 008 Computer Lab
22 Feb - 28 Mar
26 Apr - 6 Jun
04 Thursday 19:00 - 21:00 Zoom
22 Feb - 4 Apr
26 Apr - 6 Jun
Drop in Class A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 16:00 - 17:00 E7 Lecture Theatre
15 Mar - 4 Apr
26 Apr - 2 May

Timetable Note

Please note: Attendance at 'Drop in Class A' is optional.

Course Coordinator

Christopher Thomson

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $952.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts.

All DIGI405 Occurrences